DANVILLE (KPIX 5) – Tens of thousands of people who buy their health insurance through Covered California will get an unpleasant surprise when they file taxes this year.
Stacy Scoggins gets plenty of mail from Covered California, but the one tax form the agency was required to send her by February 2nd still hasn’t arrived.
“After being on hold for 59 minutes, they told me that the 1095-A was never generated,” Scoggins told KPIX 5 ConsumerWatch.
She’s talking about the 1095-A form, a document required for enrollees to file their tax returns. It’s a problem, for the recent widow who desperately needs to file now.
“I need my tax refund,” Scoggins said.
And she’s far from the only Covered California enrollee with 1095 problems. About 100,000 or 12 percent of the forms generated by Covered California have inaccuracies.
“We realized the data wasn’t exactly the same,” Covered California spokesperson Dana Howard told KPIX 5.
Howard said the problems are largely due to discrepancies between Covered California’s records and the information used by insurance companies. The inaccuracies include dates of coverage, number of family members enrolled and policy changes.
“There are some of these that are going to need reconciliation,” Howard said.
But he said Covered California sent them out anyway, to beat the February 2nd deadline.
“We did not want to hold up sending out the 1095s to everybody, so that we can correct those that we did have,” Howard said.
Howard said corrected forms should be going out at the end of the month. But if those forms have additional errors, enrollees will have to file a dispute and wait another 60 days for a response, putting them well past April 15 and in some cases resulting in extended filing fees or interest on taxes owed.
When asked if Covered California would pay for interest fees, Howard said, “We will be able to look at the dispute form, and get it completed and resolved as quickly as we possibly can.”
It’s not quick enough for Scoggins, who has since canceled her Covered California policy.
“I’m still getting letters from Covered California that says, ‘Welcome to Covered California, choose a plan,’” she said.
Howard said her missing form is an isolated case. But in addition to the 100,000 with inaccurate forms, many more will have to be corrected because of they underestimated or overestimated their income when they enrolled.